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August 18, 2022

Arts and whines

There have been some interesting questions and feedback from
community members concerning the April 20 meeting at the Community
Foundation with respect to forming a new Arts Council or advocacy
There have been some interesting questions and feedback from community members concerning the April 20 meeting at the Community Foundation with respect to forming a new Arts Council or advocacy group.

People want to know about funding. For example, what in the world am I talking about when it comes to utilizing $1 million in state bond funding for the arts? Well, you’ll just have to come to the meeting and find out for yourself. But it is a real possibility, though probably a little premature.

Mostly, the discussion or dialogue that I would like to establish is one of vision, leadership and program development. Once the vision is in place and leadership is established then the execution of program management becomes fairly simple and both the public and private sector will determine if the program deserves financial support.

The really good news is that we have the talent and experience necessary to move forward with establishing a program or agency that will fill the needs of local artists. And who are these people you may ask?

Kathy Johnson will facilitate the meeting. Kathy has a wealth of experience. According to her Web site, she has conducted numerous strategic planning and team-building sessions, offered fund-raising and grant-writing training and developed leadership programs.

Kathleen Sheridan used to run the former San Benito Arts Commission several years ago when it was thriving and functional. She will share some of those experiences as well as her artistic interests.

And of course, Gary Byrne of the Community Foundation will discuss how that organization helps nonprofits with fiscal stewardship.

While I’m dropping names, Councilman Brad Pike and Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz will be present and voice their support for this important cause. Finally, we expect representation from the Oriana Choir, San Benito Stage Company, Hollister Art League and others who are interested in developing a diverse organization that will garner interest in the arts from the entire community.

So where are all the youth that, rightfully, complain that there is nothing to do here in San Benito County? This is a golden opportunity for young people to make a name for themselves and participate in artistic endeavors that showcase their talent. Rappers and rockers unite! Why when I was your age…um, never mind. I forgot what I was going to say…again.

And of course we want to engage our senior citizens. As I like to remind folks, don’t forget that Clint Eastwood, who is well into his seventies, just won an Oscar for “Million Dollar Baby.” It’s never too late to practice your artistic craft.

Vote yes on Measure L! We all deserve the best of medical facilities in San Benito County. Ballots must be cast by May 3. If you have any questions, call 634-0349.

This last week, I was officially appointed to the San Benito County Fish and Game Commission by the county board of supervisors. I join a distinguished panel of citizens who serve as an advisory panel to the Board of Supervisors. Apparently, I am uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity because I am constantly referred to as a weasel, a snake or a pig, according to Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz who recommended my appointment. That was sort of a joke.

Anyway, I’m thinking of a new slogan which the Fish and Game Commission may wish to consider. Here goes: “The San Benito County Fish and Game Commission…we take lame ducks seriously!” More about that later.

Politics in San Benito County gets stranger and stranger and, yes, even ironic. If you follow twisted logic, then those who want to recall one elected official for suing the county will want to sue every elected official that sues the county. If so, then Brian Conroy and Ignacio Velazquez will be joining forces soon. Yeah, right! Speaking as a Fish and Game commissioner, it seems to me that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And there must be room for a clever pun about swan songs and political careers in there somewhere.

Mike Smith
A staff member edited this provided article.

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